On Feb. 13, the Illinois Valley Community College board approved a three-year lease agreement to locate the University of Illinois Extension four-county regional office in the C Building offices formerly occupied by financial aid.
County director for Extension Unit 8, Jill Guynn, the three-member professional educator staff and a secretarial position will relocate to IVCC, while satellite offices in Princeton, Henry and Ottawa remain open. The agreement totaling $18,200 annually will begin July 1.
Unit 8 serves 60,000 residents in LaSalle, Bureau, Marshall and Putnam counties including 6,000 youth via 4-H, after-school programs, the Ag in the Classroom program and others.
In other business, trustees approved a nearly 10 percent tuition increase effective this summer.
Following the recommendation of its Audit/Finance Committee, trustees voted to increase tuition from $93.60 to $103.60 per credit. When the $7.40 universal fee is added, total credit hour cost will be $111.
State average for tuition and universal fees at all community colleges is currently $112.65. By comparison, students paid $296 per credit hour at Northern Illinois University, $335 at Illinois State University and $394 at the University of Illinois.
Through the course of a year, a full-time IVCC student taking 30 hours would pay $3,330.
Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema said the increase is necessary due to state funding remaining flat and lower property values resulting in decreased property tax levies.
Trustees also approved increases in course fees for 79 classes, decreases in 28 and the elimination of one course fee.
In other action, the board approved:
• Tenure recommendations for CNA instructor Christine Blaydes, sociology instructor Jared Olesen and fitness center instructor Tony Ruda.
• Designated the 2015 fiscal year as July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, appointed Corcoran to prepare the tentative budget and approved the budget calendar.
• The retirement of Marianne Dzik, Dean of English, Mathematics and Education, effective March 31. In her retirement letter Dzik said her association with IVCC began in 1966 when she was a member of the first freshman class at the newly-formed college. “I was excited and honored to begin my professional career at IVCC in 1984 and work alongside the teachers from whom I learned and admired,” Dzik said.
• The retirement of facilities director Gary Johnson effective March 1. Johnson, who helped lead IVCC through the construction of the 80,000-square-foot Peter Miller Community Technology Center, said in his retirement letter, “I have enjoyed the years of energy and enthusiasm at IVCC.”
• The appointment of Scott Curley as interim director of facilities.
• Authorized letters of support for Ottawa’s request for a 12-year extension of the I-80 North TIF where 26 parcels totaling 136 acres remain undeveloped. “The TIF has had tremendous success in attracting and retaining commercial and light industrial businesses,” city engineer Dave Noble said in a letter.
The board also learned:
• 2014-15 contracts will be renewed for non-tenured faculty Mary Black, developmental math; Carmen Hartford, biology; Shane Lange, automotive technology; Tracy Lee, English and creative writing; and Karie Stecken and Samantha Whiteaker, nursing.
• There were 264 fall graduates earning 293 degrees and certificates compared to 241 graduates earning 271 degrees in fall 2012.
• American Federation of Teachers Local 1810 President Mike Phillips asked the board to begin planning for collective bargaining for 2014-15 and beyond. The current three-year agreement with faculty expires with the start of the fall 2014 semester. Phillips said the union is again seeking the use of an interest based approach to negotiations leading to “a fair and equitable contract for both parties.”
• The college received a letter praising Lori Scroggs’ volunteer participation on the board of examiners for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. “Without the contributions of dedicated examiners like Lori, the Baldridge Program could not function,” said Director Robert Fangmeyer. Scroggs, IVCC’s vice president for Learning and Student Development, is retiring at the end of the month.
• Corcoran also praised Scroggs Thursday. “I just wanted to say how pleased I have been to work with her in so many ways over the last 20 years,” he said. “Even the years she worked at Bradley University she served our college proudly as a member of the board. Lori, thank you for your service, and we wish you nothing but the best in the next chapter of your life.”
• Fast Track to College Math launched successfully this spring when all 18 enrollees completed the program. On the pre-test, students averaged scores of just 43 percent. By the time they took the post-test, 11 scored 90 percent or better, and 83 percent was the low score. Instructors Dan Serafini and Trisha Blood led the program.
• IVCC and other area community colleges have been asked to participate in a research study with Northern Illinois University to determine what constitutes college-level reading at each institution and examine literacy practices and expectations in developmental reading, introductory-level general education and occupational courses. The study will answer what it means to be college text-ready.
• The Education and Early Childhood Education programs recently held an orientation meeting for 43 students. Organizers Jill Urban-Bollis and Diane Christianson covered background checks, the Test of Academic Proficiency, licensure changes and dispositions.
• Asbestos removal in Buildings 6, 11 and 12 has been completed, and demolition could start Feb. 21. Heat exchanger replacement in the gym will begin during spring break (March 10-14). Cultural Centre sound system plans should go to bid March 20.